Implementation of Eating Disorder Screening Instruments in the Pediatric Primary Care Setting

Author: ORCID icon
McBee, Marina, Nursing Practice - School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Boitnott, Amy
Yost, Terri
Watts, Elizabeth

Eating disorders (EDs) are serious and potentially life-threatening psychiatric illnesses. The majority of EDs are diagnosed during childhood with the onset of symptoms noted by pediatricians. Despite the climbing prevalence of EDs, primary care providers (PCPs) continue to under diagnose this condition. Delayed detection of EDs is associated with an increase in poor outcomes. PCPs are uniquely positioned to care for patients with an ED. This EBP project included patients aged 8-18 yo at a primary care clinic in Northern Virginia. ED screening tools were administered to eligible patients. ICD-10 codes were collected to determine if the standardized ED screening tools influenced the timeliness of an ED diagnosis. Findings suggest that the implementation of standardized ED screening instruments show clinical significance and improve the identification of previously undiagnosed EDs in the primary care setting. This program has the potential to improve health outcomes for patients newly diagnosed with an ED.

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
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